I’m re-reading a marvelous book by Sue Monk Kidd called, The Secret Life of Bees. There are so many beautiful passages in this book. But about half-way through the book, I read a part that just —oof!— really squeezed my heart.

You know that feeling? As if you’re standing outside waiting for a bus and suddenly something about the twilight sky just touches you to the core that you could burst into tears. And maybe you do. (I did. When I read this passage.)

Don’t worry if you haven’t read the book. You’ll see what I mean. Yep, I’m gonna share it with you. Right now. Ready?

In one scene fourteen-year-old Lily asks her grown-up friend August about why her house is painted Caribbean Pink:

“How come if your favorite color is blue, you painted your house so pink?”

She laughed. “That was May’s doing. She was with me the day I went to the paint store to pick out the color. I had a nice tan color in mind, but May latched onto this sample calls Caribbean Pink. She said it made her feel like dancing a Spanish flamenco.  I thought, ‘Well, this is the tackiest color I’ve ever seen, and we’ll have half the town talking about us, but if it can lift May’s heart like that, I guess she ought to live inside it.’”

“All this time I thought you just liked pink,” I said.

‘”You know, some things don’t matter that much, Lily. Like the color of a house. How big is that in the overall scheme of life? But lifting a person’s heart–now that matters. The whole problem with people is—

“They don’t know what matters and what doesn’t,” I said filling in her sentence and feeling proud of myself for doing so.

“I was gonna say, The problem is they know what matters, but they don’t choose it. You know how hard that is, Lily? I love May, but it was still so hard to choose Caribbean Pink. The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters.’”


The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters.

{Heart-squish. Whoosh. Wow!}

Mother and daughter playing in parkI don’t have to say much more right now, because that passage says it all. And whatever you need to know about what matters will most certainly alight on your shoulder like a butterfly as you go about your day today. And if it doesn’t, perhaps you can stop and sit out on the porch very quietly as the sun is setting, allowing yourself to — just know.

And if, like me, what matters to you is finding ways to tell the people in your life how important they are to you + the difference they’ve made in your life, I hope you’ll consider creating a one-of-a-kind Celebration Book. These books spell out for people why they matter.  And in the process of making one, there’s no doubt what matters.

Check your heart to see what’s there,
Sherry Richert Belul


pink-flower-webP.S. The truth is, I’m not re-reading The Secret Life of Bees. My beau, Ian, has been reading it aloud to me. One of our rituals is that he reads books to me — before bed, on Sunday afternoons, on vacation, whenever. I love his voice. It is so delicious and cozy to be read to. And it is a meaningful way to spend time with someone you love. (If you have children whom you’ve read to, you know what I mean.)

So, although my main point of this post is not about reading to one another, I want to suggest it. And actually, as I write that, it occurs to me that reading aloud with people we love could most definitely be something that matters most. It is a way of spending time together in an important way. Promise me you’ll try it, okay?